Karl Terrence Hudson-Phillips

The Honorable Karl Hudson-Phillips ORTT, QC

Born 20th April 1933 in Trinidad 

Died 16th January 2014 in London

Mr. Karl Terrence Hudson-Phillips attended Tranquility Government Primary School,  Queen''s Royal College in Port of Spain and Selwyn College, Cambrage where he studied law.

In 1959 he was called to the bar at Gray's Inn, London.


After which he returned to Trinidad and Tobago and was called to the bar after which he established a legal practice and was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1970.

He served as a Member of Parliament from 1966 to 1976. Between 1969 and 1973 he served as the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs. 

During his time as Attorney General he was associated with the Public Order Act which was probosed by the People's National Movement (PNM) government in response to the Black power riots and Army Mutiny of the 1970. He also oversaw the implementation of legislative refomr in the areas of Criminal Law, Labour Law and Divorce Law.

There was a falling out between him and the then Prime Minister Eric Williams, for openly campaining to replace Mr Williams after he had spoken about retirement. This was the end of his political career in the PNM.

In 1974, he founded the National Land Tenants and Ratepays Association of Trinidad and Tobago.

In 1980 he founded the Organisation for National Reconstruction (ONR), a political party which contested the 1981 General Elections. Although the ONR reiceved the second-highest vote tally in the election, they failed to secure a single seat in Parliment.

The ONR went on to form an accommodation with the National Alliance to contest the 1983 Local Government elections, and merged the parties to form the National Alliance of Reconstrution (NAR).

He and Basdeo Panday who at the time were leaders of the two largest fractions in what became the NAR, decided to allow the party to be lead by A.N.R Robinson, leader of one of the smaller parties.

In 1986 the NAR contested the General Elections and won 33 of the 36 seats in Parlament. Mr Hudson-Phillips did not take an active role in the party after the election.

He was lead counsel in the murder trial of the Grenadian Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. He Defended and Persecuted in high-profile criminal trials in the Caribbean region involving murder, treason, misbehaviour in public office, fraud, illegal drugs and extradition.

He was a Law Reform Commissioner in Trinidad and Tobago and a member of the Board of Justise Studies Centre of the Americas in Santiago, Chile. He was elected to serve a nine year term from the Latin American and Caribbean Group of States (GRULAC) and was assigned to the Trial Division.

In 1999 he was elected the President of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago.

In February 2003 he was elected to the first ever bench of International Criminal Court Judges. As a "Dean of the Judges" he chaired the first meetings of judges before the election of the Presidency. 

He actively contributed to the drafting of the Regulations of the Court. 

He resigned from the court for personal reasons on the 14th March 2007.

On the 23rd July 2010, Sihasak Phuangketkeow, President of the UN Human Rights Council, announced that Mr Hudson-Phillips would head a panel of experts to investigate whether Isreal's Gaza Flotilla Raid on 31st May 2010 breached international Law. The panel also included Briton Desmond Lorenz de Silva and Malysian Mary Shanthi Dairiam.

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